Nashville Music Line: Dan + Shay Christmas, Bill Anderson CD, Parker McCollum


It’s not Christmas until you’ve heard Bobby Helms sing “Jingle Bell Rock”!

Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock (Special Nashville Edition) is available as a special re-issue release by Country Rewind Records distributed by Select-O-Hits. The new music is available for streaming and download on all digital music platforms at http://smarturl.it/bobbyhelms.

If there’s one song that makes you think “Christmas” with just its first few notes, that song is ‘Jingle Bell Rock.’ The original version of that song was recorded by Bobby Helms in 1957 and has not been absent from the radio airwaves ever since.

Producer Robby Turner stated, “Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock (Special Nashville Edition) is a true Christmas tradition and the energy displayed within these 10 tracks brings the excitement, along with the beauty of the Christmas season.”

The tracks on this album were originally recorded in the early 1980s at Doc’s Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn., and were produced by Charlie Ammerman, who at the time was also Helms’ manager. Ammerman is a veteran Nashville producer who headed up his Pretty World Records for around forty years.

As long as there’s Christmas and Christmas music, Bobby will be with us every Holiday season with the sound of “Jingle Bell Rock.”

  • Full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes for the Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock (Special Nashville Edition) album, for Country Rewind Records.

If you need a little nudge to get into the Christmas spirit, look no further than the new music videos from Dan + Shay, who are still riding high after yet another music award win.

“Take Me Home for Christmas” features the duo, along with their wives, plus Shay’s kiddos and Dan’s (suitably attired) fur babies. The video opens as theater curtains pull back to reveal a wide-screen winter street scene, worthy of a 1950s Hollywood movie, complete with gently-falling snow, and Shay and Hannah’s son Asher announcing: “Ladies and gentlemen, Dan + Shay.”

The video was directed by Patrick Tracy who also helmed Dan + Shay’s and Justin Bieber’s “10,000 Hours” video that recently passed more than 1.3 billion streams, including 500 million Spotify streams.  “Take Me Home for Christmas” is the first original Dan + Shay Christmas release. It was written by Dan Smyers with Andy Albert, Jordan Reynolds, Jordan Schmidt and Mitchell Tenpenny.

“It was cool to get in the holiday spirit a little early this year because I think we could all use some extra positivity and cheer,” said Smyers in a release. The video ends with the enigmatic words: “To be continued” allowing fans to guess what’s coming next.

Fans didn’t have long to wait!  A few days later, up popped the second of two Dan + Shay Christmas music videos: “Christmas Isn’t Christmas,” another spectacular production directed by Patrick Tracy.  This time, the video opens on a dark stage with a winter setting that gradually warms up as the song swells joyously and the Christmas lights start to twinkle.

See the “Take Me Home for Christmas” video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QJKhKNWy5o and the “Christmas Isn’t Christmas” video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAeeYBSx5Vk  … or go to https://www.danandshay.com/ and search “videos”.

Songwriting titan and Country Music Hall of Fame member Whisperin’ Bill Anderson is ending the unprecedented and challenging year of 2020 with a fun video for his single “It’s A Good Day To Have A Good Day.”

The video features the Grand Ole Opry legend in studio with his band, shot during a recording session in January interspersed with clips of people finding joy in their everyday lives. The song was penned by Anderson before the COVID-19 pandemic hit but the lyrics arrived at the perfect time.

  • “We can certainly use this sentiment these days. And the Country Music Hall of Famer is still whisperin’ as effectively as ever. He’s a treasure, for sure,” said Robert K. Oermann in a MusicRow

Anderson boasts a renowned career that has seen extraordinary milestones, including:

  • Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • 59 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry
  • 80 top-charting songs—37 of which were Top Ten hits
  • in addition to seven No. 1 singles
  • 50+ BMI Awards
  • Three CMA Awards and two ACM Awards
  • 2018 induction into the all-genre Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Anderson is the only writer to chart country songs in seven consecutive decades

He recently released his 73rd album, The Hits Re-Imagined. To stream or download, click https://billanderson.fanlink.to/reimagine.

For more information on Bill Anderson visit BillAnderson.com or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

With so many songs now being streamed or downloaded, most listeners don’t really know who wrote the songs they’re hearing, unless the bother to go online and research.  Most songwriters are now – literally – the unsung heroes, whereas CDs and vinyl records always had the songwriters’ name under the song titles.

So a lot of music fans might not realize that members of Old Dominion have penned a bunch of hits and album tracks for other artists.

Now the band is releasing a new EP, Band Behind The Curtain, filled with songs written by the guys that previously went to No. 1 for other artists. The Sony Music Nashville EP contains the band’s own studio versions of those hits, and is available now on all major streaming platforms. The EP includes renditions of “Make You Miss Me” (recorded by Sam Hunt) and “Save It For A Rainy Day” (recorded by Kenny Chesney), among others.

The EP has a ‘suitably redacted’ cover, too!

  • Old Dominion are nominated for two Grammy Awards for “Some People Do” in “Best Country Song” and “Best Country Duo/Group Performance” categories. The band also won Vocal Group of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards, marking their third win in this category since they debuted in 2014.

It’s the end of the road for Radio Disney

The Disney Corp. is closing down its radio division. This means that both Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will cease broadcasting during the first quarter of 2021. 36 full-time and part-time employees will be laid off.

The move is part of Disney’s restructuring plan that will place more emphasis on content for the streaming platform Disney+ and Disney Channels. Apparently, the rise of streaming audio and the pandemic-fueled uncertainty about the future of live music events also contributed to the decision.

Radio Disney launched as an over-the-air network in 1996 and owned 23 stations during its peak. In 2014, the company sold 22 of those stations and moved to satellite and digital distribution.

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has announced the top country songs and songwriters for the past year, 2019 – 2020. The NMPA Gold & Platinum Program honors the songwriters of RIAA-certified Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum singles.

The Platinum Anthem Award, for ‘most listened to song’, based on a calculation of streams and sales in the past year, went to “Old Town Road,” performed by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. The song was written by Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jocelyn Donal, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Kiowa ‘YoungKio’ Roukema. “Old Town Road” was certified 12x Multi-Platinum by RIAA.

The Top Song Award for the most listened-to song prior to the past year went to “Tennessee Whiskey,” performed by Chris Stapleton and written by Linda Hargrove and Dean Dillon. The song went 6x multi-Platinum with 7 million certified units.

The Top Songwriter Award went to Ashley Gorley with writing credits on 10 multi-Platinum, 15 Platinum and 13 Gold certified songs including “Life Changes,” “Dirt on My Boots,” “T-Shirt,” “Marry Me,” “That’s My Kind of Night,” “Born to Love You,” “Games” and “Living.”

The Awards were presented remotely due to the pandemic.

•••

“I Know Country” Q&A from the book “I Know Country” by Preshias Harris, available in print or e-book editions at www.iknowcountry.com

QUESTION: He toured with Terri Clark and Reba McEntire on the Two Hats and a Redhead Tour and released a 15-track album titled Time Well Wasted.  Who is he?

•••

This Week In Country Music

Dec 6, 1960     Ferlin Husky’s “Wings of a Dove” was No. 1. On the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. There were only five No. 1 songs on the Country charts for all of 1960, all of which held the top spot for many weeks: “El Paso” (Marty Robbins); “He’ll Have to Go” (Jim Reeves); “Please Help Me I’m Falling” (Hank Locklin); “Alabam” (Cowboy Copas); “Wings of a Dove” (Ferlin Husky.

Dec 9, 2005     Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood married. His second, her third.

Dec 9, 2014     Tim McGraw topped the Country Singles chart with “Shotgun Rider.”

This Week’s Country Music Birthdays

December 6    Bill Lloyd (Foster & Lloyd), 1955

December 7    Neil Mason (Cadillac Three drummer), 1981

December 8    Marty Raybon (Shenandoah), 1959

Sam Hunt, 1984

December 10  Johnny Rodriguez, 1951

Kevin Sharp (“Nobody Knows”), 1970 (died April 19, 2014 from cancer)

December 11  Brenda Lee, 1944

Tony Brown (producer), 1946

December 12  Byron Hill (songwriter), 1953

•••

“I Know Country” Q&A ANSWER: Brad Paisley.  His Time Well Wasted album included a duet with Dolly Parton, “When I Get Where I’m Going.” That album also included a comedy sketch, “Cornography,” featuring James Burton and the Kung Pao Buckaroos, and five ‘hidden tracks’.

•••

This Week’s Billboard Country Airplay Top 5

Compiled by Nielsen Media / MRC Data for Dec 12, 2020

  1. (2) “Happy Anywhere” Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani
  2. (4) “Big Big Plans” Chris Lane
  3. (3) ”Love You Like I Used To Russell Dickerson
  4. (7) “Pretty Heart” Parker McCollum
  5. (6) “One of Them Girls” Lee Brice

A new No. 1 this week on Country Airplay: “Happy Anywhere” for Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani; written by Ross Copperman, Matt Jenkins & Josh Osborne.  It Blake and Gwen’s 2nd No. 1 as a duo, following “Nobody But You” earlier this year.

Parker McCollum breaks the Billboard Country Airplay Top 5 for the first time with “Pretty Heart” at No. 4. McCollum wrote the song with Randy Montana during his first co-write in Nashville.

  • Interestingly, McCollum signed with Universal Music Group in 2019, but it wasn’t until after “Pretty Heart” charted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, due to heavy online streaming, that UMG officially released the single on their MCA imprint.
  • McCollum is no newcomer to music. The Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter has performing professionally and recording singles, EPs and albums since 2013.

Preshias Harris is a music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Visit www.collegeofsongology.com for more details.   Follow her blog at  www.nashvillemusicline.com

Harris is also the author of “I Know Country” with 366 daily country music questions and answers. You can buy and instantly download your e-book copy at www.IKnowCountry.com.

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